elite secession

It's refreshing to hear statements such as these coming from the political right:

Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension—and viable public transportation doesn’t even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call and a chartered plane to get to the Mayo Clinic, why worry about Medicare?


Almost all conservatives who care to vote congregate in the Republican Party. But Republican ideology celebrates outsourcing, globalization, and takeovers as the glorious fruits of capitalism’s “creative destruction.” As a former Republican congressional staff member, I saw for myself how GOP proponents of globalized vulture capitalism, such as Grover Norquist, Dick Armey, Phil Gramm, and Lawrence Kudlow, extolled the offshoring and financialization process as an unalloyed benefit. They were quick to denounce as socialism any attempt to mitigate its impact on society. Yet their ideology is nothing more than an upside-down utopianism, an absolutist twin of Marxism. If millions of people’s interests get damaged in the process of implementing their ideology, it is a necessary outcome of scientific laws of economics that must never be tampered with, just as Lenin believed that his version of materialist laws were final and inexorable.

The American Conservative, where this article by Mike Lofgren appeared, is a "paleocon" magazine: it also opposes U.S. imperial adventuring, earning the epithet "isolationist" from the intervention-minded left. Empire-building, U.S.-style, isn't so much about acquiring treasure by force -- if it were the Iraqis wouldn't still be controlling their own oil reserves -- as it is maintaining a "permanent war" infrastructure to bleed taxpayers. It's part of the same pathology Lofgren describes, "whereby the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well being except as a place to extract loot." Fracking is another example: the barons who are profiting from this treat the U.S. heartland as a third world country to be drained and poisoned. What the hell, they aren't going to live in these regions.